One of the expected highlights of the biggest sporting event in Poland this year – the III European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023 – are the ski jumping competitions on the Wielka Krokiew and Średnia Krokiew hills in the area of the Zakopane Central Sports Centre. – When there is a competition, you have to strive for the highest place possible – were the words of Piotr Żyla, one of the mainstays of the Polish team.
It will be the debut appearance of ski jumping at the European Games. The inclusion of the sport is aimed at making the event more attractive and draw the interest of fans. Counting on the support of the fans is the Polish national team, whose preparations for the upcoming Games included training in the Central Sports Centre – Olympic Preparation Centre facilities in Zakopane. It is in the capital of the Polish Tatra mountains that the ski jumping competitions at the European Games 2023 will take place.
– I am counting on our fans, as they always support us, and I hope they will come to see us this time as well – said Aleksander Zniszczoł, who is part of the national team for the competitions on Wielka Krokiew and Średnia Krokiew. – Taking part in the event is new for us, but we are going to approach them as we do a regular competition – he explained.
Piotr Żyla, current world champion from Planica, presented an opinion similar to that of his younger teammate.
– It is something new in our competition calendar, so it is hard to make predictions. It will surely be a nice event. We are preparing in order for our results to be good – the 36-year old said. – So far ski jumping is a winter sport and we focus on the winter, but it will be nice to do a few competitions, including the 2023 European Games. The atmosphere in the team is good, as usual. Can we win anything? Well, if I get to compete, you bet I will want to win, that is what I jump and train for. If there is a competition, you have to aim for the best placing possible – Żyła added.
The ski jumping competitions at the 2023 European Games will take place on the grounds of the Central Sports Centre – Olympic Preparation Centre in Zakopane. Several new investments have been made in the complex in the Tatra mountains in order to improve the infrastructure and the living conditions for the athletes, not just during the Games. The Średnia Krokiew hill, situated on the grounds of the CSC – OPC Zakopane, has been fitted with additional stands for over two thousand fans. The gyms in the Zakopane training centre have had centrally controlled air conditioning installed, while new competition-certified rings are awaiting the boxers participating in the 2023 European Games.
– This is only a fraction of the numerous modernisations implemented in recent years by us in cooperation with the Ministry of Sports and Tourism. The total value of the investments made by CSC – OPO Zakopane in recent years amounts to over 300 million zloty – stated Sebastian Danikiewicz, director of CSC – OPC Zakopane.
The ski jumping competitions at the 3rd European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023 will take place in Zakopane between 27 June and 1 July. Included in the programme are individual women’s and men’s competitions, as well as a mixed team contest.